DCF Fee-for-Service Changes: Respite Services Impacted by State Transition

January 4th, 2016

Beginning January 2016, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) transitioned all respite services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities under the age of 21 from a contract-based system to a fee-for-service system.  Families currently enrolled in The Arc of Essex County’s agency-hired, Saturday, or self-hired children’s respite programs will be impacted.

This shift will enable DCF and the Division of Children’s System of Care (CSOC) to extend more respite services to families and optimize the utilization of available resources.  Enrollment in The Arc of Essex County’s children’s respite programs will expand, decreasing the time period families have to wait to receive services and increasing the variety of available programs.

The Arc of Essex County alerted families impacted by this change in early December 2015 and conducted a series of workshops to answer questions and provide support as the statewide changes took effect.  Agency-hired and Saturday group respite families will encounter minimal changes.  Families who are enrolled in The Arc of Essex County’s self-hired respite program will need to complete additional paperwork and ensure their self-hired workers meet statewide requirements.

The Arc of Essex County is available to answer any questions families may have throughout the DCF fee-for-service transition.  A web page will be available on The Arc of Essex County’s website in the coming weeks to guide self-hired respite families through the changes and requirements in the new system.  For any questions regarding the state-wide changes, or assistance in accessing services as the requirements change, please call The Arc of Essex County at (973) 535-1181.